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  1. #1
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    Amar'e: 'I've never been taught defense'

    Mike Woodson has repeatedly said he's not worried about Amar'e Stoudemire finding his offense after returning from a left knee injury. Woodson is more concerned about Stoudemire's defensive game -- and Stoudemire knows that's where he needs the most improvement.

    In fact, STAT admitted after Wednesday's practice that defense was something he had never really learned -- until now with Woodson as his head coach. While Woody was an assistant coach in New York last season, Stoudemire had mostly played under Mike D'Antoni's offensive game plan during his career.

    "I think just having a defensive coach for the first time in my career is going to help," he said. "I've never been taught defense in my whole career, so to now have a coach that actually teaches defense and teaches strategies, and knows positioning and posture, how to guard different plays, it's going to be helpful. I'm going to take it as a challenge, and I'm going to accept the challenge and try to improve as a player."

    In Stoudemire's season debut against the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, he was clearly confused on defense. Guarding pick-and-rolls, he sunk too low, leaving LaMarcus Aldridge wide open for jump shots, and he lost sight of J.J. Hickson and allowed a couple of easy finishes.

    During practice, Woodson went over a lot of halfcourt defense. While he explained rotations, he stressed effort and communication -- two factors that many Knicks have pointed to during their recent slide. Afterward, Stoudemire worked with assistants Herb Williams and LaSalle Thompson on defensive positioning while guarding pick-and-rolls. Both of them were showing STAT how to maintain a strong defensive stance, and to keep his hands high and active.

    Woodson discussed the importance of practice time to get back to where they were on D. From Nov. 2 to Dec. 16, the Knicks were holding opponents to a ninth-best 96.1 points per game. But from Dec. 17 to now, as they've gone 3-5, that number shot up to 100.5.

    "Early on, we were committed and early on we were practicing and getting after each other a little bit," Woodson said. "We've got to teach and get guys committed the best way possible."

    Reflecting on his first practice after his first game, Stoudemire said he felt "great."

    "I feel loose, I feel fit and feel ready to play," he said. "It's a great sign after my first game to feel as good as I do now. My second half [against Portland] was better than my first half and hopefully tomorrow's game will be better than the first game, and that process continues."

    Stoudemire said he was "a little bit hesitant on certain moves," so he spent post-practice working on shot repetitions to get more comfortable on the court. While he's confident he'll regain his rhythm soon, for now he expects to remain around 17 minutes per game, which he played last night.

    "They're still taking precautionary measures," he said. "The longevity is to be there for the second half of the season and going into the postseason. ... It's up to the training staff to determine my minutes."

    Overall, Stoudemire said if the Knicks continue to build on their early success, he'll remain in the second unit.

    "I've done it before," he said. "I expect myself to really get back in top shape and reach where I was before. But depending on how we're playing, if we're playing well and have no problems, I'll come off the bench."
    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/kni...medium=twitter

  2. #2
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    Amare said what? OH MY GAWWWWD!!!!

  3. #3
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    Er...duhhhhhhh! The real shame is that he never gave any effort to even try to learn.

  4. #4
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    Im not going to jump on Amar'e right now because he just got back and his legs are not there yet.....with that being said its just plain stupid to run plays like pick and roll and feed him the bal in the post his first game in 3 months.

    His game time should be focus on defensive rotation ,rebounding, fundamentals and conditioning.

    Woodson has to find a way to work Amare back into the rotation without losing productivity and losing games....major fail last night.

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing56&33 View Post
    Im not going to jump on Amar'e right now because he just got back and his legs are not there yet.....with that being said its just plain stupid to run plays like pick and roll and feed him the bal in the post his first game in 3 months.

    His game time should be focus on defensive rotation ,rebounding, fundamentals and conditioning.

    Woodson has to find a way to work Amare back into the rotation without losing productivity and losing games....major fail last night.




    Or Woodson just needs to not play Amare at all. He makes the knicks worst. I have no use for him on team anymore

  6. #6
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    This is nothing new. A well known fact that his overall coaching has been poor since he was a straight from HS guy. Then has been coached by a guy who doesn't care about defense. I remember during Nash's first MVP season, he was repeatedly saying they're not going to be a good defense and can't worry about that, just need to do what they do best.

    I've always thought though, with his athleticism, he should be a better defender. Its like he was just told to block shots, and jump for rebounds. Things like blocking out, and defensive positioning were afterthoughts.

    I do however, realize that Stat really has been a marvel over his career in picking things up. He went from an athletic guy his first year who could really just catch the ball, drive it and dunk it, or get in transition. To becoming the best rolling big in the league, to gaining one of the best midrange shots for a big in the league easily, and actually is in competition only with Karl Malone for best pick and roll/pop big in league history.

    I remember when D'antoni left and Terry Porter took over, he moved Amare to the post. He was totally unrefined there, but effective, in just powering up shots. He was one of the most effective players in the post in the league. Now this past offseason with Olajuwan learning post play, and defense, and his work ethic...plus Woodsons coaching style is very promising. I don't expect Amare to become a great post player or great defender at this stage, but he can improve, and I believe that he will.

  7. #7
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    Trust me Amare, we know.
    The value of elite scoring ability, by Phil Jackson:

    "This is a guy, we recognize his talent, and his skill is the kind of skill and talent that gets you through playoff games where things get sticky, grind-out, and basketball becomes a force game and suddenly you need to have a player who has the capabilities of scoring with someone hanging on them in a situation thatís critical. Heís one of those players, one of the few players who can do that.Ē

  8. #8
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    No one taught him defense? lol. It was equally funny the first time he said it
    Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often

    So Tired of Melo Ball




  9. #9
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    It almost makes sense thinking about who his coach has been since he entered the NBA. Let's all just hope that Woody can teach him what needs to be done. If any coach can teach him defense it's Woody.


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LOOTERX9 View Post
    [/B]


    Or Woodson just needs to not play Amare at all. He makes the knicks worst. I have no use for him on team anymore
    Well thats not going to happen but the fact that Amare is open to coming off the bench is important. Once Amare get his legs back I think he can be productive....even if its just running the floor and finishing.

    These guys....Amare, Sheed, Camby, KT, have to work together and be as productive as they can with the mins that they play. All are old or injury prone.

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missing56&33 View Post
    Im not going to jump on Amar'e right now because he just got back and his legs are not there yet.....with that being said its just plain stupid to run plays like pick and roll and feed him the bal in the post his first game in 3 months.

    His game time should be focus on defensive rotation ,rebounding, fundamentals and conditioning.

    Woodson has to find a way to work Amare back into the rotation without losing productivity and losing games....major fail last night.
    But he doesn't know how to play defense. Or rebound.
    Stat could be a great D player and rebounder if he got physical and truly wanted to do it.

  12. #12
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    Amare's gonna figure it out guys. I can tell this is all new to him. If there is one thing we cant discredit Amare for it's trying.


    Quote Originally Posted by NYK_kidd77 View Post
    Lol how can you guys hate the knicks thats like going to the special olympics and booing.

  13. #13
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    amare with defense would be beastly though

  14. #14
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    I've never been taught defense, I kind of thought it was within oneself to know you have to stop the person against you and not to just stand there like a statue and let scrubs look like all stars playing against me.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by aztr0 View Post
    I've never been taught defense, I kind of thought it was within oneself to know you have to stop the person against you and not to just stand there like a statue and let scrubs look like all stars playing against me.
    I'm sure it was Amare speaking of defensive rotations and sets etc. D'Antoni has been this guys coach his entire professional career up until now and we all know how much Mike D preaches defense. Woody will help him get his act together. Look at last nights game. We all saw Woody lecturing him on the sidelines after plays.


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